Review of Harp Swells [12k2059]

Ethereal (FR)

Choosing to return to 12k, seven years after having released an EP there, Will Samson returns to the New York label to offer a much more ambient record than his previous work. Maintaining, nevertheless, his folk approach, with his acoustic guitar loaded with some instrumentation, the Briton nevertheless places himself, resolutely, in an ambient vein with layers and quivering violin, present to support vocals.

Quite fragile and sensitive, the music proposed by Will Samson is also positioned, in its most convincing tracks, in a certain duration, with proposals exceeding seven minutes, stretching the subject and not overloading the sound space. The listener can then let his mind wander, following the sounds of water and other dreamlike inputs captured by the musician from Portugal, where he has set up his recording studio. The delicate arpeggios and gently plucked chords of his six-string blend impeccably with these trembling textures, with their gently sunny reflections.

When he starts singing (And Yet), Will Samson opts for a less blank voice than in the past and repeats the same phrase over and over again (“Maybe, Maybe/I Belong/Right Here, Right Now”), while the The background shudders behind him (strings, pads and female vocals). Quite in its place in the middle of an instrumental record, such a track serves as a breather and confirms the beautiful incarnation of the Englishman’s compositions.

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